Two engineers from luxury carmaker Bentley Motors are to take part in a 3,000-mile pedal-powered boat race across the Atlantic to raise money for charity.
Mike Sayer, 27, and Mark Byass, 24, both based at Bentley's main facility in Crewe, will serve as crew members for the estimated six-week Woodvale Challenge Atlantic Rowing Race with the goal of raising £250,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.
The Project Torpedalo team used Autodesk digital prototyping software, including Alias Design, Inventor, Maya and Showcase, to design, visualise and simulate the carbon-fibre boat. “This entire project is an example of digital prototyping in action,” said Sayer. “We worked with a variety of Autodesk software to design and engineer the watercraft with no physical models. We’ve had to take ergonomics, hydrodynamics and all kinds of variables into account to ensure that we produce a boat that is strong, fast, relatively comfortable and, of course, safe.”
With the design phase of the boat now complete, manufacture is under way at Curvature Group and Norco GRP. The boat will be in the water for outfitting by July.
The craft itself is more than 25 feet long and nearly 5 feet high with a carbon-fibre hull and superstructure. It features a closed cockpit with an open deck front area and a sleeping compartment in the rear. The boat has full self-righting capability, which means it can roll itself upright without external intervention if capsized, when fully loaded or empty.
The watercraft is also equipped with a single pedal crank set, meaning the crew members will rotate pedal-powering it, along with a custom twin-blade, low-speed propeller. The expected cruising performance is three knots, with a maximum self-propelled performance of seven knots. Other features include solar panels, a water desalination system, 90 days of food storage and appropriate safety equipment.
Robert Kross, senior vice president, manufacturing industry group at Autodesk, said: “Project Torpedalo is an ambitious project launched by inspiring engineers.
“Digital Prototyping helps manufacturers develop more beautiful, economical and reliable products every day, but it is fantastic when Autodesk tools help make bold visions like Project Torpedalo a reality.”
The race starts 4 Dec and follows a course across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to the finish line in Barbados. The project is dedicated to the memories of the crew members’ grandparents, including Sayer’s grandfather who suffered from MND. For more information on contributing to the project, visit www.torpedalo.com/donate